Beth Stahlecker lived in Philadelphia and its environs for most of her life. After graduation from LaSalle University, she earned an M.A. in English from Temple University and spent 13 years tutoring the economically and educationally underpriviledged, while studying poetry in the Warren Wilson College low-residency Program for Writers. She completed an MFA, spent a brief residency at the Cummington Arts Colony. In October 1991 she was diagnosed with liver cancer and died ten days later at the age of 38.